BUSINESS Network International (BNI) Zimbabwe will next week hold a business networking week in an effort to grow business links through referrals, businessdigest has learnt.
This comes as Zimbabwe’s industries are singing the blues as poor infrastructure, rampant corruption and depressed demand for local goods suppress the manufacturing sector’s growth prospects.
This has seen industry’s capacity utilisation plunging from 36,5% in 2014 to 34,3% in 2015.
“The national networking week is an initiative by BNI to celebrate networking and also try to bring awareness to the public about it,” BNI Zimbabwe national co-ordinator Tinashe Kubwalo said in an interview this week. “It is also a week where we try to bring government, business and the community to network and understand the concept of referral marketing.”
She said the two BNI chapters will hold meetings that will involve members of the public as part of the networking week. The two meetings will be held at a local restaurant and the Harare Childrens’ Home. Kubwalo said they will host a product showcase on Friday open to members of the public as well as BNI members.
She said there will be various speakers, including several business personalities who include TelOne boss Chipo Mutasa at the events.
BNI Zimbabwe national director, Emmanuel Tagarira said the organisation is looking to revive the organisation which was reduced from 13 chapters to just two because of the country’s economic implosion.
He said the organisation plans to have chapters in all major cities of the country by the end of the year as part of the revival drive.
“We want to have a minimum of 12 chapters in Harare alone as well as four in Bulawayo, three in Mutare and have one or two chapters in Gweru by the end of the year,” Tagarira said.
He said through business referrals done under the auspices of the organisation, US$190 000 worth of business was translated in 2014 and US$250 000 last year.
BNI Zimbabwe, which began in 2005, is a membership based business and professional organisation that allows only one person from each profession to join a chapter and meets weekly to boost each others’ business portfolios.
BNI Zimbabwe is a franchise of BNI International which is based in more than 120 countries.